The Best Middle School Read Alouds of 2021

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If you are the parent of a middle school child, you know how hard it can be to get your child to put down the phone and pick up a book. Creating excellent readers in a world where everything is shorthand or abbreviated can be challenging, but there are ways in and outside of the classroom to get your child to read more. This list of the best middle school read alouds will provide you with the top read-aloud chapter books for your middle schooler.

Imagine your child coming home from school, and instead of playing video games, they pick up a book and start reading. Why? They were so intrigued by what you read to them that they wanted to continue the journey. These books will make your child excited to hear more. Keep reading to find out the best books for middle school boysand girls for reading aloud.

Our Top Favorite
Bud, Not Buddy: (Newbery Medal Winner)
Our Top Runner Up
Well, That Was Awkward
Our Top Value Pick
Fever 1793
Book Title
Bud not Buddy
Well, That Was Awkward
Fever 1793
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Favorite
Bud, Not Buddy: (Newbery Medal Winner)
Book Title
Bud not Buddy
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Well, That Was Awkward
Book Title
Well, That Was Awkward
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Fever 1793
Book Title
Fever 1793
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-04-18

Our Favorites for the Best Middle School Read Alouds

Bud not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud Not Buddy is a popular read and is often one of the many books read in middle school English classes. It is perfect for ages ten years old and up. The novel is set during the Depression-era. It is a story of a young boy on a quest to locate his long-lost father. Though his mother never mentioned who his father was, Bud feels like she left a few clues to help him get started.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This novel is great for keeping the attention of all middle schoolers. It is a story of perseverance and courage as Bud is determined to find his father despite all the odds against him. This is a great book that students will not only love to hear but will love to read again for themselves. Bud centers around a boy who is by no means privileged but continues to hope for a better future. This text comes highly recommended by middle school teachers.

On Sale
Bud, Not Buddy: (Newbery Medal Winner)
Bud, Not Buddy: (Newbery Medal Winner)
  • Yearling Books
  • Curtis, Christopher Paul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia is an advanced read-aloud text that many advanced students will enjoy. This is a magical story filled with imagination and wonder. One of the first books in the series is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is the story of 4 siblings who step into a mysterious wardrobe which takes them into the land of Narnia. Narnia is stuck in the wintertime and ruled by the White Witch.

This book may be challenging at first, but most students will enjoy the stories that it offers. There are several themes and scenarios that will lead to discussion in the classroom. Some of these themes include forgiveness, courage, transformation, and even betrayal. Good vs. evil is also a very prevalent theme in the novel. Students will enjoy the twists and turn that this story takes and will be eager to discuss them.

On Sale
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)
  • Great product!
  • Lewis, C. S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Crash is an excellent read-aloud for middle school students. This is one of the best books for middle school boys as they deal with growing up and their aggression. This book is great for ages 10 10 years old and up. Crash is a young, cocky bully who’s been playing football since he was young. He spends his time running over people, literally. He has a reputation for crashing into things, people and most notably, his cousin, Bridget. Crash is told through his eyes.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

Jerry Spinelli gives readers a powerful novel about life and stereotypes. The book is funny and highly entertaining. There are several themes in the story that students can benefit from. These include aggression, masculinity, family, friendship, and many more. Bullying is also a sizeable prevalent theme throughout the novel.

On Sale
Crash
Crash
  • Great product!
  • Spinelli, Jerry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is the story of a witch, Xan. Who, contrary to the town’s belief, is kind. Though every year the people of the city, Protectorate, leave a baby to her as an offering to keep Xan from terrorizing the town. However, Xan takes these kids to families that will love and care for them, giving the starlight as nourishment. Everything changes when Xan feeds one child moonlight instead of starlight. She raises this little girl as her own protecting her from her power until she feels she’ll be ready. This book is perfect for ages ten and up.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

The story takes place in a magical world filled with witches, dragons, and monsters. The book is much like a fairytale. The story has many different stories within its pages, and the author finds a way to bring all of these stories back together. Though this book is longer than average, it is worth it. The Girl Who Drank the Moon will also generate questions surrounding good & evil, fear, secrets, and transitioning.

On Sale
The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal)
The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal)
  • Barnhill, Kelly (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 04/30/2019 (Publication Date) - Algonquin Young Readers (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Sticks and Stones by Abby Cooper

Sticks and Stones is the story of Elyse. Elyse is abnormal in the sense that whatever words people use to describe her will appear instantly on her arms. Although these words started as positive and kind, as she got older, they began to change. These words went from cute to hurtful. These words being pathetic or loser. Who could imagine walking around with those words written across their body? Elyse must now start middle school. She is stepping into a world where words can be ruthless. As she is slowly losing the friends she once had to love and protect her, she begins to receive anonymous notes. These notes are from someone who wants to help her. Kids will join Elyse as she figured out who this mystery person is and works to love and accept herself. In this story, sticks and stones aren’t the only things that can hurt.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

Sticks and Stones is an excellent book for middle school children as they learn the value of their words and the effect that they have on other people. In a world where the age of suicide is getting younger and younger, this is a critical book to read aloud and discuss. It will elicit conversation of the importance of self-love and accepting yourself for who you are regardless of your differences. Though Elyse suffers from a disease which isn’t real, students can be easily placed in her shoes. It allows them to see and reflect on the scars which one may not see which come out in her emotions and behaviors. This is one of the best, and most thought-provoking middle school novels to teach as students will be able to relate.

On Sale
Sticks & Stones
Sticks & Stones
  • COOPER, ABBY (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 07/03/2017 (Publication Date) - Square Fish (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-18


The Runner-Ups for the Best Middle School Read Alouds

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail

Well, That Was Awkward is a story of middle school kids living the middle school life. It’s a story of young romance, friendship, and living in the age of text messaging and social media. Find out what happens when the guy Grace like falls for her best friend. This is an excellent read for children ages 10 and up.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This is a great read-aloud. It is relatable, funny, and captures life as a middle schooler, specifically eighth grade. This book is one that students will love to hear as it is much like a day in their lives.

Well, That Was Awkward
Well, That Was Awkward
  • Vail, Rachel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 02/27/2018 (Publication Date) - Puffin Books (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Love That Dog (Jack, #1) by Sharon Creech

Love That Dog is the story of one boy, Jack, one dog, a pencil, and a yellow piece of paper. The book is written from the point of view of Jack in the form of free form poems. However, contrary to the structure of the book, Jack hates poetry. However, Jack’s teacher continues to give assignments centered on poetry, and he will soon understand that he has more to say than he thinks. This book is perfect for ages ten to twelve years old.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This is a great book to read aloud as it dispels the popular middle school notion of something being strictly for girls or boys, as Jack soon finds out. It also is a creative way to introduce poetry in the classroom. This is one of the few entertaining middle school novels to teach poetry to students. It leaves various parts to the imagination and is excellent for discussion in and out of the classroom. Many parents and teachers highly recommend this book for students.

On Sale
Love That Dog
Love That Dog
  • Joanna Cotler Books
  • Creech, Sharon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August Pullman is an ordinary kid like everyone else with one small difference on his face, which has prevented him from going to school. However, he is now ready for 5th grade at Beecher Prep. However, nothing gets past a group of kids, especially something that isn’t typically “normal.” The book is told from a variety of perspectives. This includes August, his classmates, and a few others close to him. This book is meant for children ages eight to twelve years old.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

Wonder is an excellent book which will elicit discussion in the classroom. It is a story about having the courage to be yourself and gives everyone a much-needed lesson in kindness. Everyone gives this book five stars for not only the story but the message behind it. Wonder gives a look at the reality that many children face for being different. It will help students understand the importance of not judging a book by its cover as well. Wonder is an essential book for parents, teachers, and students.

Wonder
Wonder
  • R. J. Palacio (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 04/19/2021 (Publication Date) - Penguin Uk (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Schooled by Gordon Korman

Schooled is the story of Capricorn Cap Anderson. Cap is a boy who was homeschooled by his grandmother, Rain, who is also a hippie. However, after Rain breaks her hip, Cap must go to the local middle school. Cap is in for a shock as he is naive to the inner workings of public school.

Cap is not like most kids. He has never watched television, and he has never tasted pizza. All this makes him easy prey for the kids at Claverage Middle School. Cap is an admirable kid, and he helps kids understand the differences in each other.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This is a great book to elicit discussion and teaches numerous life lessons children can benefit from. This book is excellent for children ages eight to twelve. Many students who have previously read this book in the past mentioned it was one of the best books about a school they have ever read. It also adequately used the notion of fitting in. This can be transitioned to many scenarios, not just a hippie who has never been to regular school

On Sale
Schooled
Schooled
  • Hyperion Books for Children
  • Korman, Gordon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


The Value Picks for the Best Middle School Read Alouds

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793 takes places during 1793 when a fever epidemic sweeps through Philadelphia. The main character of the story is Mattie Cook. Mattie lives with her mom and grandfather. She always is looking for ways to make their business the best in Philadelphia. However, everything must change when the fever breaks out. Disease plagues the city and Mattie must flee, with her mother’s encouragement. This book is perfect for children ages ten to twelve years old.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This made our best middle school read alouds list because it is a great story of survival, which will elicit conversation surrounding the storyline and around the actual fevers that once plagued the world. This is a wonderful historical fiction book that is realistic and moving. It is especially great if you are in an area where the book takes place. Students are then able to make real-world connections with the places in the story.

On Sale
Fever 1793
Fever 1793
  • Great product!
  • Anderson, Laurie Halse (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is an award-winning novel. It previously won the Newbery Medal and is a classic which has been enjoyed by many. The book is the story of suburbanite Claudia, who one day decides to run away. However, she doesn’t run away for just any reason. She is in search of someplace beautiful, elegant, and overall comfortable. Claudia takes her little brother and plans an elaborate escape because she knows merely running away is out of the question.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This is a beautiful read-aloud book as there are numerous themes present which children may question or look to discuss. One major theme is the notion of dissatisfaction. Others include family, wealth, and hopes & dreams, to name a few. It is a simple story of adventures and life. It also forces students to look at how their family or people around them are impacted by the decisions which they choose to make. Ultimately it would be selfish to think running away would only affect Claudia and her brother.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Great product!
  • Konigsburg, E.L. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

The Tuesdays at the Castle is the story of Princess Celie and her castle. Every Tuesday, Celie’s castle gets an unexpected upgrade, and for that reason, it is her favorite day. The castle will add a wing, a hidden room, or even a turret. Princess Celie takes the time to map out all of these new additions. The book takes an unexpected turn when her parents, the King and Queen, are ambushed. However, unbeknownst to them, they have a secret weapon, the Princess and her maps, which can be used to keep the family safe from harm as Celie is the only one who has taken time to understand them.

Why Choose this Read Aloud Book:

This is a great book because it not only shows how the child can also be the teacher and the leader, it is a story of an adventure which many kids will enjoy. Tuesdays at the Castle is just the first book in a five-book series. The other books include Wednesdays in the Tower, Thursdays with the Crown, Fridays with the Wizards and Saturdays at Sea. Many parents and children love the series, especially the first book. Kids will be excited to talk about the numerous adventurous and twists and turns that this book has to offer.

On Sale
Tuesdays at the Castle
Tuesdays at the Castle
  • Bloomsbury U S A Children s Books
  • George, Jessica Day (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-18


Summary of the Best Middle School Read Alouds

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
Bud, Not Buddy: (Newbery Medal Winner)
Our Top Runner Up
Well, That Was Awkward
Our Top Value Pick
Fever 1793
Book Title
Bud not Buddy
Well, That Was Awkward
Fever 1793
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Favorite
Bud, Not Buddy: (Newbery Medal Winner)
Book Title
Bud not Buddy
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Well, That Was Awkward
Book Title
Well, That Was Awkward
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Fever 1793
Book Title
Fever 1793
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-04-18

There are several books on this list which make the reading aloud experience for middle schoolers more worth it. Reading aloud strengthens cognition, provides enjoyment, promotes discussion, and so much more. It is an activity that should not be lost on middle schoolers though they are older. There are many books on the list to keep your middle schooler intrigued and peak a variety of interests. There are several middle school novels to teach children’s themes like friendship, courage, and the importance of accepting differences. Books like Bud, not Buddy, teach students the values of hope and courage. Whereas other books like Well, That Was Awkward and Schooled teach the importance of being different and the politics of middle school. No matter what book you choose for your child or they choose for themselves; the options are plentiful. These are excellent books which will trigger further questions from kids and lead to amazing discussions.

Did you enjoy this post on the best middle school read alouds? If so, we cover a ton of other middle school reading lists, such as the best books for 6th grade, best books for 7th grade, and best books for 8th grade.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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